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Arthur Jones Alabama Execution

Arthur Jones - Alabama

Arthur Jones was executed by the State of Alabama for the murder of a taxi driver. According to court documents Arthur Jones would fatally shoot taxi driver William Hosea Waymon during a robbery. Arthur Jones would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Arthur Jones would be executed by way of the electric chair on March 21 1986

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Inmates shouted and clanged on prison bars today as double murderer Arthur Lee Jones Jr. was led to the electric chair and executed for shooting a 71- year-old cab driver to death during a robbery.

Arthur Jones, 47, who was first arrested 30 years ago and came within 16 hours of execution in 1984, was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m., seven minutes after a 30-second surge of 1,900 volts passed through his stocky, 5-foot-3 frame.

His face was covered with a black veil that hung from the front of a metal skullcap containing electrodes, and his feet didn’t reach the floor as he sat in the electric chair known as ″Yellow Mama″ for its garish color.

Arthur Jones ″seemed to be thinking and getting control of himself″ as he was led into the death chamber to the sound of inmates shouting and clanging on the bars in Holman Prison, said state Prison Commissioner Freddie Smith.

″He was calm and collected,″ Smith said. ″There was, as we predicted, no last remarks whatsoever.″

Jones, a Muslim who argued that those of his faith don’t steal or kill and that police had framed him for the 1981 slaying of cabbie William Hosea Waymon, was the 53rd person executed since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. He also was under a death sentence for the murder of Vaughn Thompson, 21, during another robbery in 1981.

He was the first person executed in Alabama since 1983, when an execution that took 14 minutes raised calls for changing the method of death.

Jones was executed after after the U.S. Supreme Court refused late Thursday on a 5-4 vote to delay it and Gov. George C. Wallace declined to commute the sentence to life in prison.

Wallace ″prayed extensively about it and read his (Jones’) record and decided not to grant a stay,″ said Smith, who was on the telephone with the governor throughout the execution.

Warden Willie Johnson, 43, a 20-year veteran of the prison system, threw the switch that killed Jones. It was Johnson’s first execution.

″When you’re poor and hired out, you do what’s required of you,″ he said.

John Furman of Mobile, Jones’ attorney and one of the witnesses to the execution, said Jones had lost contact with his relatives but events leading up to the execution had brought some of them together.

Jones spent about eight hours Thursday with two sisters and a female cousin. Smith said Jones spoke briefly by telephone with his estranged wife, whom he did not identify, about 1 1/2 hours before the execution.

He ate a last meal of pink salmon, cole slaw, candied yams, chilled peaches and a grape drink, officials said.

″I believe the state of Alabama has fulfilled a solemn responsibility to its citizens tonight by executing Arthur Lee Jones,″ Attorney General Charles Graddick said. ″Jones was a habitual offender who was given chance after chance to reform.″

Death-penalty opponents rallied Thursday at the Capitol in Montgomery.

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